Saturday, May 21, 2011

God Continues to be Faithful

It's been a little while since we've added to our blog, so we just wanted to update everyone on where we are in the adoption process.  To put it mildly, this whole ordeal is not for the faint of heart, but will be so worth it in the end!

The dossier has now been authenticated by the State of Arizona and translated into Creole (and by the way, we have a great certified translator to recommend if anyone needs the information).  It will be sent to Washington DC this week, where it will be "hand delivered" (at a cost of $120) to the US State Dept. for Federal Authentication (another $500).  From there, it will be sent to the Haitian Embassy for final International Authentication (at a cost still to be determined, but heard to be expensive!), and then will FINALLY be sent to the Nation of Haiti, for completion of the adoption process! 

As we have gone along this process, God has been faithful to us at every turn.  Each step has come with a sizable price tag, but each time He has provided the funds as we have needed them.  Now, as we finally get everything sent off to Haiti, we are facing the two largest financial hurdles of all.  Before our petition for adoption can go any further, we'll have to give another $9,000 to the Haitian government, and then we'll need to pay an additional $15,000 when the three adoptions are finalized.  These seem like insurmountable numbers to us, but we have faith that God will continue to be bless the journey.  The lives of these three beautiful children are in the balance, and we have known from the beginning, that He is calling us to do this!

Our T-shirt sales have been good, and we want to thank everyone who has purchased them.  Many of you have donated even more than we're asking for the shirts, or have just sent a donation outright.  This has truly been a Godsend, and we thank Him for each of you.  We have added one new T-shirt design, which also features an original drawing by our son, Nick.  Please check it out, as it would be a great Father's Day present.  Also, please continue to tell your friends, family and acquaintances.  We have been amazed at where some of the shirt orders have come from!

In addition, we are applying for grants from non-profit organizations that are specifically designed to help with international adoptions, and are planning a garage sale in a couple of weeks.  We will let everyone know the results of these efforts, as they happen. 

Finally, we appreciate your prayers more than you will ever know.  As we said, this is not for the faint of heart, and we would never have gotten this far without the support and prayers of so many.  To all of our family and friends, we want to say "Thank You", and please continue to keep us in your prayers.  Someday, when our three new children are finally here with us, you will ALL be named honorary God Parents.  We patiently wait and pray for that day.  God continues to be faithful...

Rich and Nanci

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Planes, Buses, and Tap-taps

     My recent trip to Haiti was not without incident. Wouldn't you know that on March 24th, the only airport closed in the entire US was Miami, my destination!?! Due to an airport fire, planes were being re-routed through Orlando, with seats quickly being filled. Our ten am departure turned into a ride on the red-eye, arriving in Orlando at 4:15 am, Friday. After a freezing, four hour bus trip (the AC was set on cryogenics) and another hour delay, we finally climbed aboard American Airlines flight 803, bound for Port-Au-Prince.

     The group traveling were members of The Grove Bible Church, commissioned to complete the rebuilding of Pastor Felix's home in Lespinasse, Haiti. Some of us were not new to the mission field, nor were we all  new to Haiti, but none of us were expecting the primitive accommodations in which we would live. I must say, though, that after several days of sleeping in an army tent, and peeing in a hole in the ground, without electricity or running water, I would do it again in a heartbeat! The people were incredibly hospitable and kind. But this was not the highlight of my trip. That finally came on the last day in Haiti.

     I had been promised that we would visit Good Neighbor Orphanage in Bon Repo where my children were waiting in anticipation of my visit. I was determined to not be denied. Let's face it, mission trips are often subject to changes on the fly and the word "flexible" is the mindset you must have in order to survive. But in this case, I would have taken a Tap-tap, hitchhiked, or walked to make my way to the kids. Thank the Good Lord, I rode in luxury in an air-conditioned van because those who promised were faithful.

     I spent five wonderful hours playing, holding, laughing and crying with my kids. Each child received one of the T-shirts and I explained how we were working hard on raising the money we needed. (The picture on the left side of your screen is their picture.) When the time came and I heard those dreaded words, "It's time to go," I took the children to a quiet area and said goodbye. You have no idea how hard that is to do! Can you imagine ripping out a piece of your heart? Well, I can. I did. I sincerely don't know how I'll stand another moment without them in my home, but the process is not done and the time to celebrate is still a while off. Please think about donating to our cause, or buying a T-shirt to support the adoption. We need your help. They need your help. God Bless!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Kites

Three small, humble kites…soaring above the dust of the Haiti dirt; lifting above the rubble and into the sky.  These kites were not extravagant, they didn’t have long flowing tails, they weren’t made of expensive fabric and they didn’t contain brilliant colors that drew attention.  They were simple.  Most people wouldn’t even think they were kites if it wasn’t for the fact that they were flying; flying high above the problems and pain that Haiti was now known for.  You see, these kites were literally made of trash:  a piece of black garbage bag stretched over a frame of sticks bound together by twine.  Somehow these trash kites were flying, and not just five or ten feet off the ground.  They were flying high, soaring above the powerless-powerlines and broken infrastructure of the Haitian surface.  This was one of the images of Haiti that is branded in my mind; an image that stirs my heart to love and action.  This image was a statement, these kites had a desire to escape the fear, the pain and the brokenness that was “normal” for the Haitian people, especially its children that were given no hope.

These three kites, for me, represent three children:  three children with bright smiles, hope, and love.  All of this while they wait to be adopted, taken from their humble orphanage and given a chance to fly!  That is what “adoption of three” is all about: giving hope and giving flight to three lives that are desperate for a chance to love and live.

My family, but specifically my parents are yearning for these kids, they deeply desire to put their kites in the air, but money is the major obstacle right now.  I see how they want so desperately to have these kids home.  Some days it seems so close you can almost touch it, and other days it feels like they will never get here.  They need a miracle.  And I know it will happen, its been ordered already by our Creator who puts all of us kites in the air.  But we need the participants of this miracle to rise to the surface.

We need support…be it financial or prayer, support is a must!  Will you join us?

Coming very soon is a tangible way to support this cause beyond just coldly cutting a check.  We have designed three t-shirts with “Nick Shively original artwork.”  The t-shirts are $18 a piece and when you wear one of these shirts you are helping put a little kite in the air, and soon (very soon God willing) you will see the kites soaring home where they belong.

The specific designs and ways to order will be up soon.  Thank you for your support.